Welcome to the Cheeky Weekly blog!

Welcome to the Cheeky Weekly blog!
Cheeky Weekly ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED was a British children's comic with cover dates spanning 22 October 1977 to 02 February 1980.

Quick links...
Basic Stats
Cheeky Weekly Index - Cheeky Annuals and Specials Index
Cheeky Weekly Artist Index
Features by Number of Appearances
Cheeky Weekly Timeline
Major Characters from the Cheeky pages
Features Ordered by Date of Commencement

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Tuesday 18 June 2019

Whizzer and Chips - The Cheeky Raids part 41

New readers start here... After Cheeky Weekly folded and was incorporated into Whoopee as of February 1980 six strips that had originated in the toothy funster's title survived the merge and continued to appear in the amalgamated comic. Whoopee itself foundered in March 1985 and was merged into Whizzer and Chips. Three of the surviving Cheeky Weekly strips successfully negotiated this second merge and went on to appear in the newly combined publication, rather inelegantly titled 'Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee'. The survivors were Mustapha Million, Calculator Kid and (appearing only twice) Stage School. Cheeky continued to appear, but as a member of The Krazy Gang, who had moved into W&C when Krazy, the comic in which the Gang originated, expired in April 1978. However, the Krazy Gang's Whizzer and Chips run ended in the issue dated 08 February 1986. Calculator Kid survived a little longer, his run of reprints coming to an end in the 26 July 1986 edition and leaving Mustapha Million as the sole Cheeky Weekly survivor.

Art: Mike Lacey

The 24 October 1987 issue of Whizzer and Chips was a rather special one. Not only did it celebrate the comic's 18th birthday (the first Whizzer and Chips was cover-dated 18 October 1969), but in that same coming-of-age edition the mighty Frank McDiarmid assumed the artwork duties on Mustapha Million. As if that wasn't enough, Frank's first strip reacquainted us with Mustapha's dad, and we saw young Master Million's mum for the first time. This story's recap of the Mustapha Million backstory was no doubt intended to bring new readers, who had been lured into buying the comic by the presence of the Adrian Mole pencil free gift, up to speed with our middle-eastern mate. Some older W&C readers may have recalled Mustapha's 1977 debut in Cheeky Weekly, when Mr Million announced that his offspring was to spend a year in Britain. 10 years later Mustapha was still in Blighty - his dad announces it is the anniversary of his son's arrival, and of course it is, as Mustapha's first appearance was in the debut issue of Cheeky Weekly, dated 22 October 1977.

The only thing to mar the McDiarmid reboot of our charitable chum was the presence of a pesky Whizz-kid interloper. Can you spot them? The sneaky infiltrator is revealed below.

Whizzer and Chips 24 October 1987
Art: Frank McDiarmid

Odd-Ball! Yet again the one-eyed Whizz-kid has gate-crashed Mustapha's strip, bringing to 5 the number of times Mustapha has been raided by the pliable pest.

More raiding fun soon!

Whizzer and Chips Cover Date Raider Raided
06 April 1985Mustapha MillionSuper Steve
04 May 1985Bloggs (Store Wars)Mustapha Million
11 May 1985JokerThe Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
18 May 1985Calculator Kid & CalcOdd-Ball
01 June 1985
Mustapha Million
The Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
Boy Boss
08 June 1985Odd-BallCalculator Kid
06 July 1985Toy BoyCalculator Kid
13 July 1985Pa BumpkinThe Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
27 July 1985JokerMustapha Million
24 August 1985CheekySid's Snake
14 September 1985
Calculator Kid
Calculator Kid
Store Wars
05 October 1985Mustapha MillionAnimalad
19 October 1985Odd-BallMustapha Million
23 November 1985
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Calculator Kid
The Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
Mustapha Million
18 January 1986Mustapha MillionSuper Steve
25 January 1986
Mustapha Million
08 February 1986
The Krazy Gang ends this issue
AnimaladMustapha Million
15 February 1986Lazy BonesCalculator Kid
15 March 1986Odd-BallCalculator Kid
29 March 1986Calculator KidMaster P Brain
05 April 1986Bumpkin BillionairesMustapha Million
12 April 1986AnimaladCalculator Kid
31 May 1986Lazy BonesCalculator Kid
07 June 1986Mustapha MillionJoker
28 June 1986Sweet ToothMustapha Million
26 July 1986
Calculator Kid ends this issue
No Cheeky-related raid this issueNo Cheeky-related raid this issue
16 August 1986Mustapha MillionJoker
23 August 1986Sweet ToothMustapha Million
18 October 1986Winnie the Royal NagMustapha Million
06 December 1986Toy BoyMustapha Million
13 December 1986Mustapha MillionOdd-Ball
17 January 1987SidMustapha Million
14 February 1987Odd-BallMustapha Million
11 April 1987Pa BumpkinMustapha Million
25 April 1987Mustapha MillionOdd-Ball
20 June 1987Toy BoyMustapha Million
27 June 1987Mustapha MillionMemory Banks
25 July 1987Lazy BonesMustapha Million
22 August 1987Winnie the Royal NagMustapha Million
12 September 1987Mustapha MillionSweet Tooth
19 September 1987Odd-BallMustapha Million
24 October 1987Odd-BallMustapha Million

Friday 7 June 2019

Cheeky – The Whoopee Years – The Cheeky Section

The survivors from Cheeky Weekly found themselves, as of the inevitable 'merge' that followed the cancellation of their comic, gathered within the central 16 pages of Whoopee! for the first 30 combined issues. This new home for the Cheeky Weekly refugees was referred to in the issues in question as the 'Cheeky Comic', but since Cheeky Weekly is often referred to as Cheeky, to avoid confusion I am calling the Whoopee! and Cheeky comic-within-comic the Cheeky Section or CS.

In this first examination of the toothy funster's post-Cheeky Weekly career, I'm going to document his appearances within that Cheeky Section.

What a Cheek

The 'cover' of the first CS consisted of our toothy pal's ugly mug alongside the announcement of free Friend of Cheeky badges. However subsequent issues of the CS (with two exceptions) carried the What a Cheek strip on the front page. What a Cheek was of course Cheeky Weekly's cover strip for 41 issues, and the CS version continued the same format of a single gag presented over several panels. Whereas the Cheeky Weekly run of What a Cheek each featured a single row of 3 panels, the CS revival of the strip was allocated more space and thus each instalment had the opportunity to span more panels. However, with effect from the third issue of Whoopee! and Cheeky, What a Cheek ceded some space to a companion strip at the foot of the CS 'cover'. This new, untitled and single-row-of-panels strip featured Snail and from its inception would always accompany What a Cheek.

In the 15 March 1980 edition, the CS cover was taken up with the announcement of 'Bungles in the Jungle', the first of Cheeky's movie spoofs, so there was no What a Cheek that week. In the comic dated 03 May 1980 What a Cheek was for some unaccountable reason shifted to CS page 5.

All the What a Cheeks were printed in colour, even the aforementioned shifted to-page-5 occurence dated 03 May 1980.

Some What a Cheek strips featured Cheeky and a member of the established supporting cast, while others saw our toothy pal engage with a previously (and subsequently) unseen character. Frank McDiarmid drew all 28 CS What a Cheeks. The strip's Whoopee! and Cheeky demise coincided with the abandonment of the Cheeky Comic-within-comic concept following the 04 October 1980 edition.

It's Cheeky

The first Cheeky strip to appear in the CS was titled It's Cheeky (because, as you will recall, What a Cheek began in the second week of the Whoopee! and Cheeky merge), and was very much a continuation of the format of Cheeky’s daily strips from Cheeky Weekly, i.e. in each episode our toothy pal was depicted wandering the streets exchanging gags with his pals. The first instalment was drawn by Mike Lacey, but Frank McDiarmid drew the subsequent strips. Each It's Cheeky episode of this initial run covered 4 pages, and the feature appeared in the first 5 issues of Whoopee! and Cheeky. 

Frank McDiarmid's first It's Cheeky
Whoopee! and Cheeky 16 February 1980.
Bubblegum Boy is still aloft

Cheeky announced ‘We’re planning big changes on my pages’ at the commencement of the It’s Cheeky strip in the issue dated 08 March 1980. During his stroll around town, he was seen being measured for a costume and being filmed for publicity purposes. The big reveal came in the last panel – this was to be the final It’s Cheeky strip of the feature’s initial run (a Cheeky strip with the same title would commence a 16-issue run in Whoopee dated 30 January 1982, although reduced to a single page each week), and our toothy pal was all set to appear on the silver screen.

Rather surprisingly Louise was not seen among the supporting cast in this first run of It’s Cheeky.

You may be wondering why the initial run of It's Cheeky spanned just 5 issues - I'll share my own thoughts about that below.

Cheeky Film Productions

As mentioned earlier, the cover of the CS dated 15 March 1980 was given over to the announcement of Cheeky's new vehicle, a movie spoof titled Bungles in the Jungle, under a Cheeky Film Productions banner.

It seems Cheeky's role was changed before filming commenced, as the animal skin he was handed a week earlier was not in evidence. Maybe it was originally planned that the toothy funster would portray a Tarzan-style character. Whatever the reason, we should be grateful we were spared the sight of Cheeky's bare legs.

The strip saw Cheeky and pals transported to the steaming tropical undergrowth to conduct their usual gag-swapping activities.

Bungles in the Jungle was a 3-page set drawn by Frank McDiarmid.

Cheeky Movie Masterpiece

A week after Cheeky's jungle japes, our grinning pal and his Krazy Town cronies were back in another motion picture pastiche, but this time under a new banner, reading 'Another movie masterpiece starring Cheeky!' Our comical cast were on this occasion spoofing films set in prehistoric times with an offering titled Cave Raves (and this time readers were subjected to the unedifying spectacle of the grinning gagster's lower extremities).

There followed a further 22 Movie Masterpieces starring our toothy pal with support from a variety of his Krazy Town chums, spoofing various film genres. You can probably guess which types of film were being referenced from the titles - subtlety was something that never troubled the creator of the Cheeky scripts.

Cover Date Movie Masterpiece
22-MAR-80 Cave Raves
29-MAR-80 The Space Between Your Ears
05-APR-80 King of the Castle
19-APR-80 Fooling all Cops
26-APR-80 Ho-Ho Seven to the Rescue
03-MAY-80 Monster from the Deep
10-MAY-80 The Big Shot
14-JUN-80 Escape
28-JUN-80 The Castle Caper
05-JUL-80 Planet of the Japes
12-JUL-80 Necks Please
19-JUL-80 Dr Doodle-Little
26-JUL-80 Alfred-The-Not-Too-Bad
02-AUG-80 Racing Stars
09-AUG-80 Robinson Ho-Ho
16-AUG-80 Taking A Dive
23-AUG-80 The Sand Castle
30-AUG-80 Mobs Rule OK
06-SEP-80 Young Dick Turnip
13-SEP-80 Goodbye Sailor
20-SEP-80 Gulliver's Troubles
27-SEP-80 Beware of the Jellymen
04-OCT-80 M*A*T*H

One of my favourites is Planet of the Japes, in which spaceman Cheeky encounters much simian silliness.

I like Snail's space suit

Although she was seen in silhouette seated next to the toothy funster in the Movie Masterpiece title banners, Louise made her somewhat belated Whoopee! and Cheeky strip debut during 19 July's Dr Doodle-Little, in which she, of course, played a love bird.

Most Movie Masterpieces ended with a 'trailer' - a caption informing readers of the title of the following week's film.

All the Movie Masterpieces were drawn by Frank McDiarmid.

There was no Movie Masterpiece in Whoopee! and Cheeky dated 12 April 1980 - instead of film fun, Cheeky was seen indulging in Easter gags.

The final Movie Masterpiece was entitled M*A*T*H, set in a Mend-A-Toy Hospital and spoofing the 1970 black comedy film (and later TV series) set during the Korean War, M*A*S*H (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital). Instead of the trailer that week, readers were informed of changes ahead.

The appearance of M*A*T*H coincided with the final Cheeky Section.

My guess is that the Whoopee! and Cheeky editor felt that in order to fully appreciate the humour on display in the film spoofs, readers who had not previously encountered Cheeky would first need to be acquainted with the toothy funster's supporting cast in their natural state, and that's why the 5 week run of It's Cheeky preceded the Movie Masterpieces.

The Masterpieces were a refreshing change to the familiar Cheeky format, which by 1980 was approaching 4 years old and could be seen as getting a little stale. Possibly the relatively short Masterpiece run (despite the use of the word 'rest' in the caption above, which implies it would return, no further Cheeky movies were seen) was due to the script writer exhausting his stock of movie scenarios and gags,

Cheeky's Easter

As mentioned above, the run of Movie Masterpieces was interrupted in Whoopee! and Cheeky dated 12 April 1980 as the toothy funster's film funny was replaced by a one-off strip titled Cheeky's Easter. The 4-page replacement feature, drawn by Frank McDiarmid, reverted to the well-worn format established all those years before in Krazy, whereby our grinning pal was seen sharing witticisms with his supporting cast, although on this occasion as the title implies, Cheeky was cracking jokes pertaining to eggs.

I'll be examining Cheeky's fortunes following the demise of the Cheeky Section in future posts.